Correlates of smoking status in cancer survivors

Melissa A. Little, Robert C. Klesges, Zoran Bursac, Jennifer P. Halbert, Jon Ebbert, Gerald W. Talcott, Benny Weksler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the characteristics associated with cancer survivors which indicate continued cigarette smoking at or around the time of cancer diagnosis. Methods: A total of 631 survivors were recruited in four cancer centers in Memphis, TN, between March 2015 and June 2016. To increase the probability of accurate reporting, surveys were conducted anonymously. A total of 112 respondents reported they were current smokers and 202 reported they were former smokers (n = 314), who comprised the sample. Results: We found that the rate of daily e-cigarette use among cancer survivors who smoked was 15.2% versus 3.9% in cancer survivors who no longer smoked. The national rate of adult e-cigarette use is 3.5%. Multivariate models correlated the characteristics of current versus former smokers and revealed that increasing age (aOR = 0.97, p <.0001), decreasing education (aOR = 2.39, p <.02), and current use of e-cigarettes (aOR = 3.74, p <.00045) were frequently associated with current cigarette smoking. Conclusions: While age and gender were associated with continued smoking, current use of e-cigarettes was associated with almost four times higher odds of being a current smoker. Further research is needed to determine if use of e-cigarettes deters or promotes the smoking cessation process, at least in cancer survivors. Implications for Cancer Survivors: Among cancer survivors who continue to smoke after a cancer diagnosis, use of e-cigarettes is highly prevalent; research is needed to determine whether use of e-cigarettes promotes, has no effect, or hinders smoking cessation efforts among this vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)828-834
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Cancer survivors who smoke
  • Smoking cessation
  • Tobacco use
  • e-cigarettes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)


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